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November 22, 2017

Love or Whatever

by Franz Patrick

Love or Whatever (2012)
★ / ★★★★

Written by Dennis Bush and Cait Brennan, “Love or Whatever” makes an assumption that just because its target audience is the LGBTQ community, it can get away with sophomoric characterizations, an unbelievable plot, and badly executed jokes that either are not funny or downright stupid. The film will appeal, if one were optimistic, to those with an IQ lower than fifty or those who would rather sit through a movie with nothing to say rather than read something that might prove educational.

The clumsy plot is this: Corey (Tyler Poelle), a counselor, has bought engagement rings three months ago but since then is unable to find the courage to propose to his boyfriend (David Wilson Page). Jon comes to discover the rings eventually and is rattled because he does not at all feel ready to be in a committed relationship. He thinks he may be attracted to women as well and comes to the conclusion that it may be worth exploring that route. When Corey does propose to Jon eventually, the cat is out of the bag.

The performances all around are cartoonish, even histrionic at times, and so it makes that much harder to believe the already outlandish situations the movie presents. Jon is a child stuck in a muscular man’s body, Kelsey (Jennifer Elise Cox) is the loudmouth lesbian who sleeps with everybody she makes eye contact with, even Corey is portrayed as an anal retentive geek whose success is very much attributed to such qualities.

There is one rather likable character played by Joel Rush. Pete is a pizza delivery guy who becomes Corey’s romantic interest after Jon reveals he might be bisexual. Casting Rush is a good move because he looks like a stereotypical muscle head but the character is written as sensitive, intelligent, and compassionate. Over time, we understand why the protagonist comes to fall head over heels with Pete. However, the screenplay commits an important omission: The positive qualities that Pete sees in Corey so as to be convincing that the two really are a good fit.

Great romantic comedies rely on the audience fully connecting or relating to both people involved. Here, it does not work because we have an understanding of one but not the other. In the end, take wishful thinking aside, it would be reasonable to assume that Corey is simply an easy lay, desperate after a messy breakup.

Directed by Rosser Goodman, “Love or Whatever” is a cheap-looking, interminable bore with very low ambitions. It does not even get the love scenes right. The camera angles are awkward, almost pornographic, with a groan-inducing pop song playing shamelessly in the background.


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